Behaviour order on woman, 66

PUBLISHED: 12:29 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

A WOMAN pensioner was hauled before a court last week accused of making her neighbours lives hell. Shirley Bedingfield, 66, moved to the village of Haynes in Bedfordshire after a stormy period living in Stevenage where she moved five times because of her

A WOMAN pensioner was hauled before a court last week accused of making her neighbours' lives hell.

Shirley Bedingfield, 66, moved to the village of Haynes in Bedfordshire after a stormy period living in Stevenage where she moved five times because of her anti-social behaviour.

But after a string of complaints about her behaviour, Aragon Housing Association, owners of her home in Forresters Close, Haynes, it was decided to take Mrs Bedingfield to court last Wednesday.

Magistrates at Bedford slapped an anti-social behaviour order on Mrs Bedingfield, whose husband is a bus driver in Stevenage. She could now face arrest if she continues to anger residents with her behaviour.

Mrs Bedingfield, who has two children living at home, a son aged 37 and daughter aged 34, did not appear in court.

A long investigation was carried out by Graham Caves at the Mid Beds Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction Unit, the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and Aragon Housing Association.

"She moved to Stevenage in the 1970s and moved five times because of her behaviour," said Mr Caves.

"Mrs Bedingfield eventually moved to Haynes after going through a housing exchange but the same thing has happened there.

"She has zero tolerance and is very territorial watching neighbours and whoever goes near her property she screams abuse at them.

"Residents in Forresters Close have been through hell but they have been very good and all came forward to help with our inquiry.

"Mrs Bedingfield was denying everything until the day before the hearing and never admitted she was in the wrong. She just said it was a vendetta by the neighbours. She has accepted the order and knows if she breaks it she faces immediate arrest."

The hearing was told that for almost 20 years Mrs Bedingfield had exhibited anti-social behaviour using foul and abusive language to neighbours, visitors, young children and intimidating people by watching them from house windows.

On one occasion while an owner-occupier neighbour in Forresters Close was at work, Mrs Bedingfield took up a hedge dividing her and her neighbour's garden and replaced it with a fence on their land, the court heard.

The neighbour was fearful of entering her rear garden because of threats and abusive language and parents would not allow their children to play in the close because of Mrs Bedingfield's behaviour.

A spokesman for Aragon Housing Association said: "We worked in partnership with Mid Beds District Council and fully support their stance on this. If the ASBO does not remedy the situation, we will review it and take the appropriate action."

Stevenage Borough Council said: "Mrs Bedingfield moved of her own accord a number of times while she lived in council property in Stevenage. There had been complaints about the family while they lived here.

"We did assist Mid Bed District Council in their case against Mrs Bedingfield.

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